Emily Jane Brontë

(30 July 1818 – 19 December 1848 / Thornton / Yorkshire)

The Two Children - Poem by Emily Jane Brontë

Part I
Heavy hangs the raindrop
From the burdened spray;
Heavy broods the damp mist
On Uplands far away;

Heavy looms the dull sky,
Heavy rolls the sea -
And heavy beats the young heart
Beneath that lonely Tree -

Never has a blue streak
Cleft the clouds since morn -
Never has his grim Fate
Smiled since he was born -

Frowning on the infant,
Shadowing childhood's joy;
Guardian angel knows not
That melancholy boy.

Day is passing swiftly
Its sad and sombre prime;
Youth is fast invading
Sterner manhood's time -

All the flowers are praying
For sun before they close,
And he prays too, unknowing,
That sunless human rose!

Blossoms, that the westwind
Has never wooed to blow,
Scentless are your petals,
Your dew as cold as snow -

Soul, where kindred kindness
No early promise woke,
Barren is your beauty
As weed upon the rock -

Wither, Brothers, wither,
You were vainly given -
Earth reserves no blessing
For the unblessed of Heaven!

Part II

Child of Delight! with sunbright hair
And seablue, sea-deep eyes;
Spirit of Bliss, what brings thee here,
Beneath these sullen skies?

Thou shouldest live in eternal spring,
Where endless day is never dim;
Why, seraph, has thy erring wing
Borne thee down to weep with him?

'Ah, not from heaven am I descended,
And I do not come to mingle tears;
But sweet is day though with shadows blended;
And, though clouded, sweet are youthful years -

I, the image of light and gladness,
Saw and pitied that mournful boy;
And I swore to take his gloomy sadness,
And give to him my beamy joy -

'Heavy and dark the night is closing;
Heavy and dark may its biding be;
Better for all from grief reposing,
And better for all who watch like me -

'Guardian angel, he lacks no longer;
Evil fortune he need not fear;
Fate is strong–but Love is stronger,
And more unsleeping than angel's care.


(May 28, 1845)

Emily's name for these two poems in the Gondal saga was 'A. E. and R. C'; it was Charlotte who gave them this title. The image of two children appears a number of times in Emily Brontë's poetry as well as in her novel. In this poem, the 'melancholy boy' resembles Heathcliff and Hareton, while the 'Child of Delight! with sunbright hair' resembles Catherine Earnshaw and Cathy Linton; the poem hints that they are to redeem the 'melancholy boy.' The dark-light, male-female pair appears in the novel and in the Gondal saga as well.


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Poem Submitted: Monday, December 19, 2011

Poem Edited: Monday, December 19, 2011


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